Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or Molly, is a synthetic recreational drug that has both psychedelic and stimulant properties. Ecstasy is particularly popular among teens and young adults who seek to amplify their sensory experience at music events or parties.
There are several risks involved with ecstasy use. Since it’s created in clandestine labs, there is no regulation on the ingredients used. This means that other powerful substances may be present in the ecstasy pills, which could result in injury or death. Continue reading to learn more about ecstasy and its associated dangers.
What is ecstasy made of?
Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is a designated Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act, meaning that it has no legitimate medical use and is highly prone to abuse. Ecstasy is typically sold as colorful tablets that feature a brand or logo stamped on top. The effects of the drug typically last 4-6 hours.
Young people seek out this substance in hopes of experiencing a heightened experience, such as enhanced empathy toward others, a sense of wellbeing, and energy, as well as feeling more outgoing in social settings like nightclubs, raves, or concerts. Individuals may engage in “stacking” the drug, meaning ingesting multiple tablets at once, or “piggybacking,” meaning taking multiple tablets over a short period of time.
Effects of ecstasy
The individual will begin to feel the effects of ecstasy within an hour of taking it. Ecstasy can produce the following effects:
- Elevated blood pressure and heart rate
- Sexual arousal
- Sense of trust
- Heightened emotions
- Visual distortions
- Mild hallucinations
- Decreased appetite
- Reduced need for sleep
There is also a slew of lingering adverse effects that may occur. These might include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory impairment
- Impulsive behavior
- Suppressed appetite
- Lowered libido
Dangers of ecstasy
Although people seek ecstasy for its pleasurable effects, there are many severe risks associated with this substance. Potentially dangerous effects of ecstasy include the following:
- Reactions to unknown content: Analysis of ecstasy tablets has revealed that the tablets sometimes contain other substances such as ketamine, cocaine, bath salts or methamphetamine, all of which can cause unexpected side effects.
- Hyperthermia: Because ecstasy is usually ingested at crowded events involving dancing, there is increased risk of overheating and developing a dangerous spike in body temperature, known as hyperthermia. This is due to the drug impacting the body’s ability to regulate temperature.
- Accidental injury: Ecstasy causes changes in perceiving space and motion. If someone is under the influence of the drug while driving, there is an increased risk of being involved in a collision.
- Heart damage: Repeated use of ecstasy can lead to a heart arrhythmia and permanent heart damage.
- Overdose: Ecstasy is often consumed along with other substances, such as alcohol or marijuana, in an attempt to further increase its effects. This may result in toxicity, which is a medical emergency.
Signs of ecstasy overdose
When an individual consumes an excessive dose of ecstasy, there is a risk of overdose.
Clenched jaws, uncontrolled body movements, fever, and mental confusion are tell-tale signs of toxicity. As these symptoms intensify, other dangerous symptoms begin to emerge, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Loss of consciousness
If an overdose is suspected, it‘s critical to seek immediate medical assistance..
If you are dealing with ecstasy dependence, there is help available. Rehabilitation is a process that takes commitment and patience but will yield freedom from this dangerous substance.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.